Plus no. 5-ranked featherweight Aaron Pico squares off against undefeated no. 8-ranked Justin Gonzales
LOS ANGELES – BELLATOR MMA 271: Cyborg vs. Kavanagh will take place on Friday, Nov. 12 at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Tickets for the promotion’s long-awaited Florida return go on sale on Friday, Oct. 22, via Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com at 10 a.m. ET. Additionally, mixed martial arts fans will have access to a special presale beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
In the main event, current 145-pound champion and top-ranked women’s pound-for-pound fighter Cris Cyborg (24-2, 1 NC) will make her third straight title defense when she takes on No. 5-ranked Sinead Kavanagh (7-4), while the co-main event features two top-5 heavyweight contenders going toe-to-toe as No. 4-ranked Tyrell Fortune (11-1) squares up with No. 5-ranked Linton Vassell (20-8).
Also on the card, a featured featherweight fight between No. 5-ranked Aaron Pico (8-3) and undefeated, No. 8-ranked Justin Gonzales (12-0) and a women’s featherweight matchup between No. 1-ranked Arlene Blencowe (14-8) and No. 7-ranked Pam Sorenson (9-3). Kicking off the main card will be a heavyweight attraction between undefeated, No. 6-ranked Steve Mowry (9-0) and former PFL competitor Rakim Cleveland (22-13-1).
SHOWTIME will televise the main card live at 10 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT. Additionally, the preliminary card will airlive at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on the BELLATOR and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channels, as well as Pluto TV.
Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev., “Cyborg” is coming off the second defense of her BELLATOR crown when she scored a vicious TKO over Leslie Smith at BELLATOR MMA 259 earlier this year. After earning world titles in STRIKEFORCE, UFC, and Invicta, the Brazilian native made history by capturing BELLATOR’s 145-pound strap to become a “Grand Slam Champion,” with belts in four different organizations. The hard-hitting, 36-year-old sports 20 career finishes with victories over elite competition, including Julia Budd, Holly Holm, Marloes Coenen, Gina Carano, and the aforementioned Smith (twice).
Kavanagh, a winner of her last two BELLATOR contests, strives to live up to her “KO” moniker when she attempts to stop the sport’s most dominant female athlete. The former amateur boxing champion is poised for a career breakout moment at BELLATOR 271 when the SBG Ireland-product attempts to do what only two other female fighters have previously accomplished; defeat “Cyborg.”
31-year-old Tyrell Fortune was thrust into the spotlight as one of the rare talents to start his professional career with the BELLATOR promotion. Known for his Olympic-caliber wrestling ability, Fortune has proven to be much more than a wrestler, becoming a fearsome and dynamic striker earning knockouts with his fists in seven of his 11 victories. Currently BELLATOR’s No. 4-ranked heavyweight, he recently defeated Matt Mitrione, causing him to submit to strikes at BELLATOR 262.
Former two-time light heavyweight title challenger, Linton Vassell bulked his way up to heavyweight where he has found immediate success, finishing both Ronny Markes and Sergei Kharitonov to solidify himself as the number five ranked big man in the division. A proud British fighter, “The Swarm” will be making his 15th promotional appearance at BELLATOR 271, averaging nearly two fights a year since signing with BELLATOR eight years ago in 2013.
A former freestyle wrestler who took home the California state high school title and placed second at the 2016 U.S. Olympic team trials, Pico hopes to continue his ascension toward a BELLATOR title with a fifth consecutive victory. Fighting out of the famed Jackson-Wink gym in Albuquerque, N.M.., the father of an infant son born in late July 2021 has stopped his past four opponents, including a pair of highlight reel knockouts. On Nov. 12, the 25-year-old knockout artist and Whittier, Calif., native will face his toughest test to date with plans to enter the 145-pound title conversation.
After signing with BELLATOR in September 2020, “J-Train” Gonzales made his promotional debut nine months later and earned a hard-fought split decision win over Tywan Claxton at BELLATOR MMA 260. Hailing from Greeley, Colo., the former LFA featherweight champion has knocked out four of his last seven opponents, including two in the opening round.
Additional preliminary matchups will be announced shortly
Updated BELLATOR MMA 271: Cyborg vs. Kavanagh Main Card:
Friday, Nov. 12 – live on SHOWTIME
10 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Featherweight World Title Bout: C-Cris “Cyborg” (24-2, 1 NC) vs. #5-Sinead Kavanagh (7-4)
Heavyweight Co-Main Event: #4-Tyrell Fortune (11-1) vs. #5-Linton Vassell (20-8)
Featherweight Bout: #5-Aaron Pico (8-3) vs. #8-Justin Gonzales (12-0)
Featherweight Bout: Arlene Blencowe (14-8)vs. Pam Sorenson (9-3)
Heavyweight Bout: Steve Mowry (9-0)vs. Rakim Cleveland (22-13-1)
BELLATOR MMA 271: Cyborg vs. Kavanagh Preliminary Card:
BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel | Pluto TV
Friday, Nov. 12
7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT